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The water users


Bertin, or the man who repairs everything


Before we take you to the different water pumps, let us introduce you to a fabulous man. You could call him a hero if you like, because he is. Since he was trained to become a technician by the technical team a couple of years ago he has managed to repair every single pump. During our research, all the villagers spoke with deep respect and admiration about Bertin, because he is a very kind man and never asks for money. He repairs the pumps because he loves being the technician, and he recognizes the importance of clean water for the people. In addition to being the man who fixes all the pumps, he is also a farmer and works as a catechist in church. When we asked him if he charged a fee for the repairs he replied the following:


When a pump is broken, I don’t leave my house with the idea that ‘today I am going to make money’, but with the idea that ‘today I am going to repair a pump’. But the villagers often give me something as a sign of appreciation. I recognize the importance of the pumps for the people. I love being the technician because since I repair pumps, everybody recognizes me and talks to me.

The most challenging repair he had done so far, was the pump in Alakamisy (6 km from Marofarihy centre) and it took him two full days to repair. He had to dismantle all the pipes because the villagers had tried to fix it themselves, which made the problem worse. He did not mind the work at all, the villagers took good care of him. When the pump is fixed he is happy for the people, but you could say there is an element of technological affect involved too - a pure satisfaction of repairing something that was broken.

When we asked him if he had any questions for us, he cautiously asked us whether it would be possible to get him a bicycle, because sometimes he needs to walk more than 8 kilometers to a village which takes up a lot of his time. Of course, we did not hesitate and took him to the bicycle shop in Manakara. But before travelling to town, he wanted to dress up first. “It is very important for us to make a good appearance in town”.

Joéline Ravao


This is another protagonist of the story. You could call her a heroine, because she is. From the beginning of the project, she has been the gatekeeper and lifeblood of this endeavor holding everything together. Because of her charisma, sense of humor, generosity and leadership skills she is a highly respected woman in Marofarihy. She is the first point of entrance whenever something goes wrong with the pumps. Her dream is now to set up her own NGO.

The water pumps

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The water users